The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Question about Braf and Mek side effects

Forums General Melanoma Community Question about Braf and Mek side effects

  • Post

      My husband is having pretty awful Braf/Mek side effects that include vomitting, Rigors, temp, diarrhea, lethargy accompanied by elevated liver enzymes and C reactive protein.. My question is, Is this just a matter of enduring until he can no longer tolerate and then have a break or when is the time to say well this is enough of this particular therapy? Anyone have any experiences? We know this therapy has given us a good result so far and feel we need to keep pushing through the side efects but obviously it takes its toll on the body and is exhausting for us both. I do feel for anyone going through this alone.


    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • Replies

          First are you seeing a melanoma specialist and what does your oncologist think about this? Is he trying to manage the side effects?


            I was told to go off the drug and wait for symptoms to subside and then go back on the drugs.  I had bad cold/hot swings up to 104 and woudl go off the drug for a few days.  The side effects would go away.  There is a protocol that shoudl be followed based on side effects.  I'm on the novartis set of drugs and it is pretty straightforward.  I jsut don't ahve them in front of me.


            Steven (3c May2018)


              Hi – my husband had similar side effects which were managed by reducing the dosage to 3/4 of the full dose.  Althought the BRAF/MEK combo is supposed to have fewer side effects, he was not able to tolerate the MEK and is only taking the BRAF(Tafinlar).  He's taken a few breaks – 2 or 3 weeks at a time – when the side effects were too severe to continue.  He's been on this for 5+ years with stable results after initial tumor reduction.  Occasionally has issues with adrenal insufficiency but the other issues (high fevers, rigors, etc have dissipated).  I would ask his oncologist about modifying the dosage and taking a break.  I hope you're able to find the right mix.



                Hi there!  I have been on a couple of BRAF/MEK combos since September of 2016.  Tafinlar/Mekinist at first which gave me shaking chills and fevers.  My oncologist cut my dosage in half and put me on 10mg of prednisone.  I don’t think this is recommended any longer.  I switched to Braftovi/Mektovi this past October and have had only mild fevers off and on at full dose.  You should definitely discuss with your oncologist.  Has he tried any immunotherapies yet?  I hope he gets it all sorted out soon.




                  I've been on this combo for 18 months.  I sufferred from severe chills/fevers but with a reduction of the daily dose (1.5 mg of the Mek + 100 mg 2X per day of the Taf) I've been coasting for about six months.  I'd recommend pushing the doc for a reduction so as to keep away from the steroids as much as possible.  And you are right;  it sucks going through this alone…

                  Charlie the Unicorn
                    Hi, I am having horrible side effects from Braf/Mek therapies. I feel alone. When people ask about it, many don’t know what rigor is like to go through. One night it with bone and joint pain too. It felt like I was in a medieval torture chamber. My oncologist has worked with me on dosages and other Braf/Mek combinations. I am trying Braftovi/Mektovi right now. I am trying to manage 4 pills of 75mg each. By day four I had a really bad rash affecting my upper body with face and neck needing ice towels. This was in addition to nausea and painful headaches. I stopped taking the pills feeling better 5 days out. I know people love me and are trying to help. I look fine, so some people think I am not pushing through. These drugs also make me weak, as in opening a bottle water hard to do. Staying positive and keep trying is my morning pep talk. My next CT scan is 5/10. I hope to see good results, something, just something. I have metastatic melanoma. Does anyone know what happens if I get another skin cancer? MOHS?
                      Charlie the Unicorn
                        For the original post. I have gone through different drugs, dosages, breaks. The current effort was to take 4 pills of Braftovi 75mg for 1 week and then 3 weeks off. I have not been able to do that. So my oncologist said interleukin 2 was next. The Braf/Mek is 60% effective, interleukin is only 2% effective. I asked about Active Cell Transfer, but at that time I was on steroids (Prednisone) and they said I was not a candidate. I am no longer on steroids so I will ask again. I’ll post what happens. I also have a second opinion oncologist that I will talk with too. Staying positive and keep trying.
                  Viewing 5 reply threads
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
                  About the MRF Patient Forum

                  The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

                  The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

                  Popular Topics